Issue 6 proponents lost the election on a proposed constitutional amendment which would have authorized a casino in Wilmington, Ohio, by a wide margin, but their expenses nearly matched the opponents. All told, Issue 6 was the priciest ballot initiative in Ohio’s history, with funding in excess of $62 million. Casino supporters spent $12.97 for each “yes” vote, and casino opponents spent $10.90 for each “no” vote.
Most of the $26 million funding for “My Ohio Now” and others in favor of Issue 6 came from a Minnesota gaming company called Lake Entertainment Inc. Funding for the opposition came from a rival casino operator, Penn National Gaming, which spent more than $36 million opposing Issue 6. Penn National Gaming owns the Argosy Casino in Indiana near Cincinnati. Since many of Argosy Casino’s patrons come from Ohio, Penn National Gaming would have suffered if a casino had opened in Wilmington.
Issue 6 proponents, including My Ohio Now’s Rick Lertzman, have already indicated that they will try to place a gaming issue on the ballot in 2009.